SIOUX LOOKOUT — Sol Mamakwa, Ontario NDP critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, said it’s shameful for the Ford Conservatives to rewrite the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies curriculum without adequately consulting Indigenous communities; and wrong for Doug Ford to make Indigenous education an optional elective.
On Tuesday, the Ford Conservatives announced the new curriculum for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies after abruptly cancelling Indigenous curriculum-writing sessions last summer.
“It’s disheartening and frustrating to see the voices of Indigenous communities ignored once again,” said Mamakwa. “The Indigenous curriculum should be developed by Indigenous communities — not the Ford government, ramming through a new First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies curriculum without offering Indigenous communities meaningful opportunities to shape what it looks like.”
The curriculum is being made an optional elective at a time when the Ford Conservatives’ broader cuts to Ontario’s education system have already forced school board to cancel hundreds of classes, throttling the number of electives offered, and even cancelling sections of core courses in some cases.
“The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies curriculum must be mandatory, and it must reflect the experiences, voices and wisdom of Indigenous communities,” said Mamakwa. “Ford is not taking this TRC Call to Action seriously — and that drags us backwards, further away from reconciliation.”